Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Letter to a friend ... boundaries


How you?

I was thinking about my life and what it may have in common with yours.

Previously I was run ragged trying to meet the demands and requests of all those around me, especially my family, where I believed it to be my responsibility.

This morning I thought it like a geyser. It only gives out so much hot water (KEEPS A RESERVE SO IT DOESN’T BLOW) and then has to fill up again before it can give more.

I was tending not only not to wait until being refilled and heated up (my own self not being taken care of) but I was running out the reserve too and obviously that’s why I used to land up “blowing” or “popping” and going off the rails feeling like I couldn’t cope – which I wasn’t and couldn’t – and that my efforts were unrewarded.

I have been trying to look deeply into the motives and reasons of why I do everything. For this the two main factors seems to have been and are the cause of this:

• Guilt – and wanting to make up for what I felt I had done wrong or where I had failed
• For worth – wanting to be needed and loved and feel worthwhile
• To sort of “play God” and be the source of others’ happiness.

I have got less guilt than I had before but still the other points have been causing problems in my life. As it is a journey without end like a dog chasing its tail.

Just thinking about this, it not unusual for people to turn the tap on when there no water in the geyser but the geyser does not give water when it has not filled up and there nothing unexpected or unusual about that yet people can expect us to give out of a depleted resource when we have got to the end of what we are capable of giving. It is our job to inform them when we are not able to.

This can create guilt in us if we expect ourselves to deliver the impossible (which I have tried to do for years) or we realise that we are human and limited and have a right and a NEED to fill up before we give again. And I even felt guilt if I didn’t pour out my whole reserve!!!!

I am trying to learn how to fill up – without depending on others – by finding peace and tranquillity with God, doing things that bring ME satisfaction, and doing things that I WANT to do just cos I want to, be with friends, etc.

This is not selfish – but necessary – FOR EVERYONE ! It is as good for them as it is for you !!

A popped geyser is no use to anyone and the difficult part is establishing in the minds of those who expected you to give and give and give without end that there is an END (for a time) and it not forever and there is a time for YOU!
I am still having difficulties with that. Cos I will have a queue of people wanting me to do something and they say they just got ONE LITTLE thing but they are after ten other little things and they don’t like hearing NO. But sometimes NO is the only way I gonna survive and even if what they want is necessary (just as a warm bath is) the geyser must be allowed to fill up. I am trying to stand firm and protect myself and that will mean protecting them too, even if they don’t realise it.

I have discovered that people are never satisfied, made happy or will never make me feel worthwhile (even tho I don’t seem to stop trying) – and so the responsibility is our own. I want to find my worth in God and be satisfied with my life for myself and not have this temperamental satisfaction from others which often goes away as soon as I stop performing for them. For others it is never enough. So I want to do what is just enough for me and what I feel to be enough for them.

I hope this makes sense. And I hope that I can succeed. It’s just that you seem to be run ragged, like I so often feel, and stressed because in the end it doesn’t seem to ever achieve the result hoped for and I sure identify with that.

Lots of love

1 comment:

  1. You are perfect. You have always been been perfect. Just the way I made you. You are loved beyond the ways man loves. You will learn to listen to me; the voice within. After all I promised to put myself inside you way back in Jeremiah 31:33, but few have listened. In Colossians 1:27 and Galatians my son Paul says so clearly that Christ in you is my hope. You are my eyes and hands and arms and feet. Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Again Paul write in Romans 8:1 "there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus" so it is likely the guilt you feel is the devils work with you. Man is an agent of the devil. Mister God said in Genesis 6:5 "the heart of man is evil continually", so without God we tend to go off track. We are containers filled we deity. We are branches reaching out but it is God's goodness that does the work. We are containers either filled with God or the devil. And if I hear you ask "what about me", "little old me" is another trick of the deceiver/liar. You see really when Christ died, we died, so there is no me anymore. We is me and me is we. We is Jesus and Tony, or Jesus and Sue, or Jesus and Trace. Mixed together like God can only do. You are always filled. Filled with the fullness of Him. To overflowing. We are broken bread and poured out wine. Sorry. Some of this must be coming a bit fast. Like drink from a fire hose. Anyway, send me you address and we will send back some books. We along with the cloud of witnesses rejoice that you are on your way... love, Tony & Sue xoxo